Wednesday 8th February.
Chris and I decided to join Martin and his mates on their Wednesday pedal. Due to a communication breakdown it ended up just me and Chris, so we headed off from the Malletsheugh Inn in Newton Mearns and headed down towards the cycletrack. It was a little chilly, windy and dark, almost like cycling in braille and proving difficult when cars came towards us with their lights on full beam. We pedalled down to the Fenwick roundabout and back , getting around 18 miles in in around 1 hour 20 mins. Nice wee pedal and one to keep in mind. Martin and his mates extend this route slightly and do the 20 miles every Monday and Wednesday night, leaving the Malletsheugh Inn car park (beside the carwash) at 6.15pm.
Thursday 9th February
Got a call from Alan McKee asking me if I fancy doing some hill reps. I was up for it so Alan came up to my house as I was rushing about getting ready. I was looking about everywhere for my bike helmet until Alan helpfully pointed out that I had it on my head!! We headed from the fire road at the top of Westcraigs down to Filipetti’s, along to the bottom of Westcraigs and up to the fire road. We then went down to Davington Drive, round it and then down to the fire road again. That comprised one lap which included 2 quite long hills and was 3.4 miles long. I rode in the wind for the first lap which we completed in 17 mins 15 seconds. Alan then led most of the second lap and we completed it in, believe it or not, 17 mins 15 seconds. I took the third lap and, determined to beat the time for the previous 2 laps, we managed to do it in 16 mins 45 secs. That was enough for me for the night although Alan completed the majority of another lap.
11.2 miles in 51 mins 15 secs.
Sunday 12th February
Chris and I headed over the hill to St Leonards and met Andy Bennett at Calderglen Park. It was another chilly one and we set off after Andy had blethered with a few old friends from the running club. Our route was Calderglen – Millwell Rd – Auldhouse – Eaglesham – Newton Mearns – M77 – Eaglesham – EK – Hamilton.
We managed 38 miles in 2 hours 55 mins and Andy only got one puncture on the way home just leaving Eaglesham. Progress.
67 miles this week.
Saturday 18th February
We got a decent turnout of 5 considering the forecast was so poor. Ricky, Alan McKee, Stu Russell, Ally Russell and myself. It was a 10am meet at the end of Muttonhole Rd and we headed off through Chapleton and along Millwell Rd and into Eaglesham. The weather took a wee turn for the worst when the hail started for the first time as we headed towards the cross. At this point we thought about curtailing the planned route so we dropped down out of the wind a little towards Holehouse Road and the wee ford which Ricky said would only be about 1 or 2 inches deep. Good one Ricky. After the cracking descent to the ford it was discovered that the water level was a bit too high and that we would not have been able to cross it without getting our feet wet. The cracking descent we had just enjoyed then turned into a cracking climb. We made the decision to crack on but Ricky hasn’t been feeling too well and decided to call it a day and head home. He added in a few wee loops on the way home and still managed to get 28 miles in.
A quick right then left and we were off along Humbie Rd towards Newton Mearns with Alan McKee in the wind at one point. The weather started to be naughty again so we stopped at the roundabout at considered our strategy. It’ll pass was the overall consensus so we pressed on. Conveniently Alan couldn’t get clipped into his pedal as we set off and lost his turn at the front. Aye right. We made our way down the old A77 cyclepath to Fenwick and through the town in search of a coffee shop, unfortunately to no avail, so we turned round and headed back towards some ominous looking black clouds. A mile or so down the road and the ominous decided to fulfil their potential. The hail was coming in at about 30 degrees being whipped by the wind as we were fairly exposed up there. I pulled down on the beanie and up on my buff (does that sound suggestive) to cover as much exposed flesh as possible but was still being stung occasionally by a well aimed hailstone. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Ally. He was wearing unpadded shorts. Totally hardcore. The hail lasted around 10 minutes and the weather started to look a little more promising as we headed north.
Looks like we’re becoming famous, they’ve named a windfarm after us.
Thankfully we had the wind behind us on the way over the moors to Eaglesham which helped us to hit 38mph on the downhill sections after cresting the climbs. Alan decided to turn right at the roundabout after the police training college at Jackton. As we had already covered around 42 miles or so by this point I questioned this decision as it would add another couple of hills to our route. Alan argued that the road to Greenhills was flat. Honestly, sometimes I wonder. I bet Ally wondered as well on his hardtail as he climbed up the nice flat road to Greenhills. I said to Alan that we could probably up the speed on the next nice “flat” section at the Stroud pub.
Alan and I left Stu and Ally at Blacklaw Drive and continued down to the roundabout at the Charlie before heading back to the wee bridge on Newhousemill Road to try to ensure that we completed 50 miles.
The climb after the bridge was tough but it felt good to crest it, knowing that almost all the hard work was done. We just made the 50 miles and no more in 4 hours and 1 minute which wasn’t bad considering the wind at times. Well done to all the lads with Ally and Alan achieving their first 50 miler. Stu has done 70 before but that was a few years ago and I have done 50 or more twice before so congrats all round.
Alan has proposed another 50 miler for this Saturday if anyone is interested, as always, the more the merrier.
Monday 20th February.
26 miles on the exercise bike at Esporta today in 1 hour and 1 minute. Met Alan just as I was heading for the Jacuzzi and steam room. Got a phone call from him tonight and he managed the same distance in the same time. At least this time his pedal was all on the flat.